The Dust Bowl

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Geology
10 Jan 2013
The Dust Bowl, also known as Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms that caused major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936, however in some places it lasted until 1940. The Dust Bowl was caused by a severe drought coupled with decades of extensive farming without crop rotation or other techniques to prevent erosion. Deep plowing of the top soil of the Great Plains had killed the natural grassed that normally kept the soil in place and trapped moisture, even during the period of droughts and high winds. During the drought of the 1930’s with no natural anchors to keep the soil into place, it dried, turned to dust, and blew away eastward and southward in large dark clouds. With unfertile, dry land, the wheat crop started dying, and then blowing away with wind. Due to the improper farming, along with a long drought, dust storms made life in the Dust Bowl very burdensome. During the 1930's, the Great Plains was plagued with drought which brought demise to many of the farmers in the region. This horrible drought started in 1930, a year that saw heavy rains in a very short time, which cause flooding in many areas of the Oklahoma Panhandle. The year continued to with horrible blizzards in the winter and a drought into the late summer. At times the clouds blackened the sky reaching all the way to the East Coat cities such as, New York and Washington D.C. Much of the soil ended up deposited in the Atlantic. These immense dust storms were given names such as, “Black Blizzards” and “Black Rollers” often reduced visibility to a few feet. The Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres, centered on the pan handles of Texas and Oklahoma, and adjacent parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas. The Dust Bowl was an ecological and human disaster caused by the misuse of land years of sustained droughts. Millions of acres of farming became useless, and hundreds of thousands of people were forced to...
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